East Africa Evaluation Missions Workshop

East-Africa-Workshop

10 –11 October 2012 – The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) convened a summative workshop on Evaluation Missions to East Africa, from 10 to 11 October 2012, at the AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Participants to the meeting included representatives of the four evaluated East African member states, namely Burundi, Djibouti, The Sudan and Uganda. The European Union Commission as well as the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) were also represented.
The two day-meeting was dedicated to sharing, amongst the participants, the findings and conclusions of the evaluation missions to East Africa and agreeing on the priority areas to be focused on.
The participants, after reiterating the need for customized, workable, and result-oriented responses, made the following recommendations:
On Enhancing Counterterrorism legal Capacity:
Member States that have not yet done so, should take, without further delay, the required steps to become parties to the 1999 OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism , its 2004 Protocol, as well as the relevant international instruments, including the implementation of AU Plan of Action (2002) and AU Plan of Action on Drug Control (2013-2017);
Appeal to Member States to review their national counterterrorism legislations with the view to aligning them with the provisions of the AU Comprehensive Counterterrorism Model Law;
The need to establish of a specialized national judicial pool, comprising specialized judges, prosecutors and investigators on terrorism;
On Combating the Financing of Terrorism (FT) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML):
Member states that have not yet established an Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) should take the required steps to establish one , without further delay .
Development of awareness-rising programs involving financial and non- financial institutions in the fight against suspicious transactions and terrorist financing;
The need to strengthen the existing financial control and monitoring systems;
Member States are urged to integrate the criminalization of the payment of ransom to terrorist groups in their national legislations as stipulated by the decision of the Assembly / AU/DEC.256 (XIII), adopted in Sirte in July 2009.
On the National Focal Point Structure:
The need for countries to view counterterrorism Focal Points as established structures and not as individuals. The need to strengthen their capacity to effectively deliver their mandates.
On Cooperation, Coordination and Exchange of Information
Enhancement of information exchange and coordination in terrorism related matters at national and regional levels;
Provide for the creation, under a unified command, a law enforcement mechanism, in the form of National and Regional Fusion Centers, to prevent and combat terrorism and transnational organized crime, including the creation, at national and regional levels of a system of databases on crime.
On Countering Radicalization
The need to ensure continuous gathering of intelligence and close monitoring and investigation of suspected radical elements and activities;
The need to conceive mechanisms for regular interaction between relevant government authorities and religious leaders;
The need to encourage scholars and theologians to lead the intellectual debate and dialogue with a view to addressing the factors that influence radicalization and extremism.
On Border Control and Management
Enhance border security through joint and coordinated operations between police, customs, immigration, intelligence and security officials;
Establish national databases and ensure interconnectivity between the border posts and the Central databases;
Develop and upgrade the regulations and procedures governing border control and security at land, sea and air entry/exit points so as to curb infiltration and promote co-operation among security agencies;
On enhancing Technical Capacity:
The participants agreed on the need for continuous training and development of technical and operational capacity of member states in the areas of intelligence gathering and analysis, Critical Infrastructures and Sensitive Sites Protection, Justice delivery, Intervention Unit, Countering Violent Extremism and the provision of adequate equipment, in the following priority areas:
Anti-Terrorism Tactical Units:
Training of teams of negotiators and specialists in explosive detection and neutralization
Acquisition of explosives and narcotics detection equipment and canine units
Training of Self-Defense trainers, training against maritime terrorism training in VIPs protection, training in offensive and defensive driving and advanced snipers training.
Airport Security
Training in airport security, air incident management and forensic science
Detection and neutralization of Explosives (IEDs) training
On the respect of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism:
Participants reaffirmed that counterterrorism measures must fully comply with international human rights law, refugee law as well as criminal and humanitarian laws. Furthermore, Member States should also comply with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly (including the Strategy), the Algiers Convention on Prevention and Combating of Terrorism (1999), the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights and their counterterrorism mechanisms must be consistent with the importance that the AU attaches to the rule of law and human rights.
Finally, The participants commended the work conducted by the ACSRT assessment team and expressed their wish for these evaluation missions to be conducted on a continued and frequent basis.